Truth and the Past (Columbia Themes in Philosophy) by Michael Dummett, Akeel Bilgrami

By Michael Dummett, Akeel Bilgrami

Michael Dummett's 3 John Dewey Lectures -- "The idea of Truth," "Statements concerning the Past," and "The Metaphysics of Time" -- have been introduced at Columbia collage within the spring of 2002. Revised and multiplied, the lectures are offered the following besides new essays via Dummett, "Truth: Deniers and Defenders" and "The Indispensability of the idea that of Truth."

In Truth and the Past, Dummett clarifies his present positions at the metaphysical factor of realism and the philosophy of language. he's most sensible often called a proponent of antirealism, which loosely characterizes fact as what we're able to realizing. The occasions of the earlier and statements approximately them are severe assessments of an antirealist place. those essays proceed and considerably give a contribution to Dummett's work.

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Extra resources for Truth and the Past (Columbia Themes in Philosophy)

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If that account of meaning demanded that we allow as true only those statements about the past supported by present memories and present evidence, then large tracts of the past would continually vanish as all traces of them dissipate. We should be committed to a metaphysical conception according to which nothing exists but the present: the past would be a mere construct out of whatever in the present we treat as being traces of it. We could not so much as think of a statement about the past as having once been true, though now devoid of truth-value, save in terms of present evidence that evidence for its truth once existed.

20 THE CONCEPT OF TRUTH Thus by stipulating the principles of semantic shift, as expressed in English, the minimalist takes as given the meanings of English statements. He is claiming, by means of that stipulation, to give a comprehensive account of the meaning of the word “true” as applied to statements made in English. He must therefore have found some means, adequate in his eyes, for specifying the meanings of such statements; or else he is simply trading upon his readers’ already knowing the English language.

And Clare is married to an Egyptian. have the same assertoric content, since a hearer who did not know that Clare was married would learn this as well from hearing the first sentence as from hearing the second. But they do not have the same ingredient sense, since their negations are not equivalent (negation does not cancel presupposition). One way to understand the traditional semantics for many-valued logics, with its distinction between designated and undesignated values, is to take the assertoric content of a sentence to be given by the condition for it to have a designated truth-value, while the distinctions among different undesignated values, and those (if any) among different designated ones, serve to explain the ingredient senses of sentences.

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